Implications of Saline Concentrations for the Performance and Competitive Interactions of the Mosquitoes Aedes aegypti (Stegomyia aegypti) and Aedes albopictus (Stegomyia albopictus)

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Biological Sciences


Aedes albopictus (Stegomyia albopictus) (Diptera: Culicidae) has probably supplanted Aedes aegypti (Stegomyia aegypti) throughout most of its historical range in the U.S.A., although Ae. aegypti still exists in large coastal cities in southern Florida. We measured salt concentrations in field containers along an axis perpendicular to the coast and examined intraspecific outcomes in these species under different salt concentrations in a factorial study using varying intra‐ and interspecific densities in different conditions of salinity to order to determine if salt could mitigate the documented competitive superiority of Ae. albopictus. Salt in field containers declined away from the coast, with maximal values similar to our lower salt concentrations. Egg hatching and short‐term survival of pupae and late instars were not affected by salt concentrations; survival of early instars of both species decreased at higher concentrations. In high salt conditions, Ae. aegypti achieved higher survival. In the longterm experiment, both species displayed longer development times. Salt did not affect interactions for either species; Ae. aegypti survived in the highest salt conditions, regardless of density. The tolerance of Ae. aegypti to high salt concentrations may allow it to use coastal containers, although because salt did not mediate interspecific interactions between Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, the ultimate effects of salt on the coexistence of these species or exclusion of either species remain unknown.

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Medical and Veterinary Entomology





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